Apple announced Monday its customers have downloaded over 40 billion apps, with nearly 20 billion of those downloads coming in 2012 alone and 2 billion in the month of December. The company says developers have been paid over $7 billon from the sale of the paid apps.
The App Store, launched in July 2008, has over 500 million active accounts in 155 countries. The company's developer community has created over 775,000 apps for the iPhone, iPad and iPod Touch.
Apple reached 25 billion downloads in August. The company reached the 15-billion app mark in July 2011 and the 10-billion app mark in January 2011.
Google is not far behind. The company announced in September it had reached 25 billion Android downloads, up from 10 billion in December 2011.
Three factors stand out for the growth in app sales. Along with the obvious growth in sales of Apple mobile products, the increase in the number of apps available and the global expansion of the App Store have undoubtedly played an important part in making Apple's iOS ecosystem popular. The App Store had around 900 apps when it launched in 2008. It had 350,000 apps by January 2011 and now has 775,000. In January 2011, the App Store was available in only 90 countries. It is now available in 155 countries.